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7.62 x 39 AK AK-47 AK-P Arsenal Canik PSA SAM7UF-85 TP9 Elite TP9 Elite Subcompact

AK Range Day!

Today’s range day was deemed AK range day!

I took out the Arsenal SAM7UF and PSA AK-P. The former is a milled rifle that I’ve owned 2-3 years but never shot until today. The latter is an AK pistol that I bought 3-4 years ago and have been shooting off and on.

Both are dreams to shoot. I’ve no range footage because I hate recording when shooting long guns (my mounting point doesn’t agree with the rifle shooting position).

I shot the SAM7UF first. I thought it would be hard on my shoulder but it was rather mild, especially considering that the folding stock’s makeup is usually something that folks complain about. It’s supposedly not easy to shoot, but the stock didn’t bother me (I’ve the rails covered with paracord).

I thought the recoil would bother my shoulder with that stock but much of the recoil never made it to my body. The milled rifle is heavy and the heft absorbed much of the recoil.

I shot out to 25 yards. I wasn’t hitting point of aim but I think it’s because the rifle may be zero’d to 100 yards. I need to study the method of zeroing AKs. When I do, I’ll revisit the range with the SAM7 and zero the gun (on the 25 yard range, since I’ll have a difficult time seeing further than that).

The gun has some blast, too. It seems it has more blast than my other long AK (a bastardized AK-63D from Classic Firearms). I shot 30 rounds before I switched to the PSA AK-P.

The PSA AK-P is a flamethrower but I already knew that. I didn’t feel like squinting trying to hit 25 yard targets so I moved the target closer, to half that distance.

I’ve a red dot sight for this firearm but I removed it when I last took it out, as I hated it. I’m decently accurate with the iron sights, so I shot 30 rounds at one of those target papers that have 5 targets on it. all but maybe 4-5 landed on paper (because the targets on the edge of the paper don’t leave much room for error and I was doing a lot of quasi double-tapping). The groupings were pretty tight for the rate of fire I used. I also shot while standing. A picture is below.

12 yards, standing w/ irons…

The gun bucks and throws fire. Additionally, it got HOT! I burned myself once and had to wrap it up in rags before I put it in it’s case so it wouldn’t melt the inside foam. Also, keep in mind that this is a pistol and the brace is HARD on a shoulder with the kick of an AK pistol. I also tend to pull the gun in really tight while gripping the mag. I’ll be bruised tomorrow.

Lastly, I always try to shoot my carry gun when I’m visiting the range, so I shot some defensive ammo from the Canik TP9 Elite SC. This ammo is something new to me, but I bought a batch of it from my range 2 nights ago, since it was on sale at 19.99 for a box of 50. The make and model is Federal 115-gr Hi-Shok JHP. I bought 250 rounds of it, not knowing if it was good or not but liking the sub-$20/box price. I later researched the ammo and found that the ammo is GOOD and that law enforcement uses it. I’d assumed that since the box was white and since the ammo wasn’t being sold in 20-round boxes, it was range ammo. It is not. So, tonight I bought 100 more rounds of it just to shoot with tonight. It shot well, without hiccups, and without feed or extraction issues. I may end up trying to buy it in bulk but my research shows that when looking for it online, the low price is 0.49/round, which is a bit high compared to what I found at my range. My range will carry it until it runs out and won’t let me buy in bulk anymore (the person that sold it to me apparently shouldn’t have let me buy so much without shooting – I bought it after my shooting session).

Right now, I’m right at 482 rounds shot through the TP9 ESC. Expect that number to go quickly as I continue to practice with it.

The AK-P currently has 370 rounds through it. I could shoot it more but for some reason, shooting that gun indoors gets old quickly (it has tremendous blast). I looked at the internals (trunion, bolt, and bolt carrier) and the parts aren’t beat up (this model is a GF3). Most AK snobs hate US-made AK, and think they’re sub-par. If I have any issues, it’ll be something like fire-pin issues, or something stuck in the firing pin channel (primer metal), or maybe a loose firing pin retaining pin (which probably won’t be an issue, as I’ve checked it and it is not loose at all). I will probably buy another firing pin, in case the OEM one breaks.

The SAM7UF only has 30 rounds through it but I’ll try to shoot it more, now that it’s no longer virgin.

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AK-47 AMD-63 Arsenal Bulgaria gunmagwarehouse.com magazines steel

I’ve Some Bulgarian Surplus AK-47 Mags Coming My Way

I ordered 5 x AK-47 magazines from Gunmagwarehouse.com this past Thursday.  They will arrive sometime Monday.  These are Bulgarian mags with the typical ribbed look.  They’re made of steel and are 30-round mags with a polymer follower (I’m not bothered by that).  They’ve good reviews.  I ordered these to replace the Croatian mags that my AMD-63 seems to hate.

I still have not shot the SAM7UF nor tested the Croatian mags on that particular rifle.  That’s coming soon.  I do believe the SAM7 will accept the Croatian mags, though, as I stuck a loaded mag into the firearm and the rifle chambered a round without issue (something the AMD-63 won’t do with those mags).

UPDATE:  I was finally able to order some snap caps in 7.62×39 (they are plastic, though, and are already chipping and cracking).  I ordered five of them.  I tested the Croatian mags with them since I didn’t really want to test by chambering live rounds in my house.  All four of the Croatian mags will properly mount in all my AKs but the PSA AK-P.  The non-PSA AKs will actually strip the snap caps from three of the mags and chamber the fake rounds.  One mag has issues where none of the AKs will feed rounds from it (note that I did not test that mag in the SAM7 – I tested it in the AMD-63).

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AK 63 Arsenal Atlantic Firearms magazines SAM7UF

Steel Mags From Atlantic Firearms

I bought a 4-pack of 30-round steel mags from Atlantic Firearms a few days ago.  They arrived today.  They were filthy but thoroughly protected from rust and corrosion.

I cleaned them.  I actually took them apart and soaked them in dish soap (Dawn) and hot water, then scrubbed them, then let them air dry.  I then gave them a coat of oil and put them back together.

All four fit in my SAM7 (they fit very snug but not as tight as the PMAG it came with).  All four also fit in my AK63, although loosely (I don’t mind — as long as they don’t come out). 

I still have to test them at the range, though.

I’ve the other set of Croatian mags arriving tomorrow.  I’ll have to scrub them down as well, but I may save that for this weekend.  I’ll test fit them to the SAM7 tomorrow, though.  I hear these mags can be problematic when it comes to fitment.  We’ll see.  If they are, I’ll just file them a bit.

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AK-47 AK-63DS AMD-63 Arsenal magazines Magpul SAM7UF SAM7UF-85 Tapco

I’m Attempting to Expand My Knowledge of the Arsenal SAM 7-UF

So, I’ve been not only looking at SAM7UF reviews online, but doing things such as swapping mags between my AK-63DS and SAM7UF.

I’ve 6 Tapco mags that came with the AK-63DS.  The Arsenal came with one Magpul (Gen 1, I think).  The SAM7UF will not take the Tapcos.  The AK-63DS will take the Magpul without issue.

Most people talk crap about the Tapcos, mainly because of issues like this, but this really isn’t an issue with Tapcos.  It’s an issue with the Arsenal.  Why is the mag well that tight?  My ratty-assed AK-63DS will take both without issue, so it’s NOT the mags, and in the AK-63DS’s case, it isn’t the gun.

If I want to take the Arsenal to the range, I’ll only have that one mag, unless I go to Cabelas and pick up a few Magpul mags.  I solved the problem by ordering 3 metal Polish mags from Atlantic Firearms and 4 metal Croatian mags from Apex Gun Parts (both groups being 30-round mags).

I also added 550 cord to both arms of the spars of the collapsible stock.

Eventually, I’ll also find some bakelites, but they’re really scarce.  In fact, it was moderately difficult to find even European metal mags.

The plan is to continue to take my AK-63DS to the range and practice with it.  I’ll use my experience with that particular gun as an AK-47 baseline of knowledge.

I also have to order more ammo, but I’ve enough for a decent start.

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AK47 Arsenal milled receiver SAM7UF underfolder

I’d Been Searching Locally For AKMs and Found an Arsenal SAM7-UF!

I sold a wheel/tire combo that belonged to my previous vehicle so I had some money to blow.

I was eyeing a PSA AK47 GB3 MOEkov in FDE but kept wondering about what issues it would have when I took ownership, so I was hesitant.

I know the mantra.  “Get a WASR”.  Nope.  That wasn’t going to happen either, as WASRs have some of the same issues that purists bitch about when talking about PSA AKs (only WASR folk let WASR issues pass and whine about other makes/models with similar issues).

I thought of getting a Century Arms imported underfolder (AK63DS)…they’re difficult to find.

I actually visited several different local gun stores to see what they had in stock. 

Cabelas had none, not even used.

Another small store had the ones that should not be bought (C39v2 and RAS47).  They also had an Arsenal but it was $1300.  I passed.

I went to another small store and they had an old, used WASR…it looked like someone drug it behind their car for several thousand miles.  They had a RAS47 pistol.  That thing looked NICE!  I was able to handle it.  It’s the first time I got a close look at one and it had heft and the workmanship was very nice, but it was a RAS…they can explode on you.  The store also had an Arsenal underfolder, the SAM7UF.  I took a long look at it and asked to handle it.  It had little wear and was pretty much immaculate (similar to the RAS).  It had a milled receiver.  It had good alignment and the tang on the bolt carrier was not touched (it appeared the rifle wasn’t fired by the previous owner).  That was this past Friday.  Today (Monday), I went back and asked to take another look at it.  The price was $1000.  I ended up buying it.  Me.  An Arsenal.

Why did I buy this when I was looking at lower priced variants?  Because the price was $200 less than what it is new, for one.  Secondly, the thing had not been used…it was extremely clean.  It was local and I wouldn’t have to pay FFL fees and shipping and all that other mess.  I could have it same day.  If I end up not liking it, I can recoup what I spent on it, since it’s an Arsenal.  Underfolders are also badass and combined with Arsenal, I’ve a very nice new firearm!  It’s probably one of the most valuable in my collection thus far (I’ve spent a tad more on a handgun but that handgun will not resell at the same price I bought it…the Arsenal will).

So, I’ve another range visit and review in my future!